Media Release from Culture Works


In stunning contrast to the national trend of states decreasing funding for arts and culture, the Ohio Governor and General Assembly increased appropriations to support the state’s cultural organizations for fiscal year 2012-2013 by 30.5%.

Advocacy efforts undertaken by the Ohio Citizens for the Arts (OCA), and supported by Culture Works and a number of other Dayton area citizens and organizations, resulted in a fiscal year 2012-213 budget of $17,211,408 for the Ohio Arts Council (OAC), with nearly 82% of this funding being awarded to artists and arts organizations.  This was a particular noteworthy achievement given that legislative appropriations nationally to state arts agencies decreased an average of 5.8% for FY2012, with 42 states either decreasing or keeping funding flat.

The outlook for Ohio’s arts budget did not always look so rosy.  Governor John Kasich’s proposed cutting the Ohio Arts Councils’ budget by 19.5% when the state budget was introduced March 15, 2011.  The OAC testified before the subcommittee on Higher Education on March 31, and the budget bill then advanced to the full house for consideration, where it passed on May 5 with an additional $3 million provided for the arts. The Ohio Citizens for the Arts, OCA legislative counsel Bill Blair, and arts advocates from around the state worked tirelessly to insure that the increased budget was sustained as the bill moved to the senate.  On July 1, the Governor signed off on the Ohio House and Senate’s budget recommendation for increased funding.

“This increased funding would not have happened without statewide advocacy efforts, in which the Dayton region played a key role,” says Martine Meredith Collier, president & CEO of Culture Works. “The number of citizens from Dayton who attended Arts Day in Columbus on May 11 was impressive, and the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with our elected officials about the importance of the cultural sector to Ohio tourism, economic development, and education was critical to this successful effort.”

According to Jeffrey A. Rich, Chair of the Ohio Arts Council, “We have all been part of a well executed and strategic advocacy effort.  Everyone played their part and worked as a team. Everyone spoke with a united voice about the artistic excellence, the cultural vibrancy, and the great economic impact of the arts to Ohio and its citizens. Thank you.”

Collier suggests that citizens in the Dayton region write or call elected officials to thank them for their support.  “We need to let the Governor, and our local state representatives and senators know how much their support for arts and culture is appreciated.”  The Culture Works website at provides a link to contact local elected officials.

Over 25 Dayton arts organizations received funding from the Ohio Arts Council for FY2012. Grant amounts for FY2012 in many cases exceeded grant amounts for FY2011 as a result of increased appropriations for the Ohio Arts Council.

Organization Name FY2012 Grant Amount FY2011 Grant Amount

Organizations with budgets over $1.5 million

Dayton Art Institute $59,060 $52,030
Dayton Opera Association $29,982 $25,942
Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra $60,457 $46,027
Victoria Theatre Association $127,617 $97,329

Organizations with budgets under $1.5 million

Antioch College/Antioch Review $4,761 $2,340
City of Kettering/Rosewood Arts Centre $13,539 $5,967
Cityfolk $15,567 $10,793
Clark State Performing Arts Center $16,979 $10,495
Culture Works $16,733 $11,195
Darke County Center for the Arts, Inc. $14,112 $6,795
Dayton Ballet Association $16,985 $25,652
Dayton Contemporary Dance Company $17,586 $9,533
Dayton Visual Arts Center $9,633 $6,396
Downtown Dayton Partnership $5,711 N/A
Gateway Arts Council $4,018 $2,997
Human Race Theatre Company $17,344 $11,738
Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton, Inc. $4,884 $1,786
K12 Gallery for Young People $5,449 $3,589
Kettering Children’s Choir $3,913 $1,931
Muse Machine $18,398 $11,465
Springfield Arts Council $25,484 $21,699
Springfield Museum of Art $10,466 $12,121
Springfield Symphony Orchestra $11,431 $9,610
We Care Arts $12,095 $9,846
Westcott House Foundation $11,367 $5,593
Wright State University Galleries $4,385 $2,698
Yellow Springs Writers’ Workshop $2,032 $1,392
YS Kids Playhouse $5,706 $4,002


As the United Arts Fund and Arts Council for Greater Dayton, Culture Works is the funding, advocacy and services organization that passionately inspires, supports and sustains arts in the Dayton region.

Culture Works is proud to provide the largest single source of private funding for the arts in Dayton.  With the help of corporations, foundations, and individual givers, the organization is able  to secure ongoing operating support for seven major constituent organizations including: Cityfolk, Dayton Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Dayton Opera, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, The Human Race Theatre Company, and Muse Machine and  hosts smaller and emerging arts groups such as The Bach Society of Dayton,  K12 Gallery for Young People, Dayton Visual Arts Center, Kettering Children’s Choir and others.

Sustainability support for Culture Works is provided by The Ohio Arts Council. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this organization with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

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